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BBQ Pasta Salad

BBQ Pasta Salad is sure to be unforgettable at your next potluck or summer party! This delectable salad is loaded with BBQ pulled pork, sharp Cheddar cheese, crisp corn, and other fresh veggies. Drizzle on a BBQ-spiked creamy dressing and this salad is ready to devour.
Course Dinner, lunch, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword BBQ Pasta Salad
Prep Time 35 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 -6 servings
Calories 616kcal
Author Chelsea
Cost $8.21

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces (227g) farfalle (bowtie) pasta (1/2 of 1 box; about 2-1/2 cups)
  • 2 small ears fresh corn (or 1 cup (135g) frozen corn)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced (~3/4 cup;105g)
  • 2 stalks celery (~1/2 cup; 66g)
  • heaping 1/2 cup (66g) sharp cheddar Cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 2 thinly sliced green onions, (~1/4 cup; 13g)
  • 1 cup (250g) seasoned and fully cooked BBQ pork cooked according to package instructions (Note 1) (~1/2 of 1, 16 ounce container)

Salad "Dressing":

  • 1/2 cup (100g) mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup (72g) BBQ sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (like TABASCO)
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Small pinch cayenne pepper, optional
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional: chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  • PASTA:  Prepare the pasta according to package directions. (Don't cook all the pasta; only use 3 cups!) Make sure to generously salt the water. (I add 1 teaspoon to every 4 cups of water.) Don't forget to salt the pasta water or the whole salad will taste under-seasoned. If using frozen corn, add it to the boiling pasta water 1 minute before pasta will be done. Drain pasta, rinse under cold water, let cool, and allow to dry. Thoroughly dry before adding it to the other ingredients. Add cooked and cooled pasta to a large bowl.
  • PREP VEGGIES: While the pasta is cooking, prep the veggies/other salad additions. Cook pork according to package directions and allow to cool to room temperature. Use two forks to shred the pork a bit more if needed. If using fresh corn, grill (See Note 2) or simply cut it off the cob and add to the salad raw. Dice the pepper, thinly slice the celery, cube Cheddar cheese pieces, and thinly slice green onions. In a large bowl, add the pulled pork, corn, pepper, celery, Cheddar cheese, and green onions.
  • DRESSING: In another small bowl, whisk together the mayo, BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, hot sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. (Add to taste, I add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.) Whisk until combined and smooth.
  • DRESS: Pour dressing over the salad (adding to preference-- you may not want it all). Gently toss ingredients until combined. Taste again and season with any additional salt/pepper as needed. Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired.
  • STORAGE: This salad is best enjoyed the same day it is made. If making it ahead of time, I recommend keeping the salad and dressing separated and combining the two right before eating.

Video

Notes

Note 1: Either use leftover BBQ pulled pork or get some from the freezer/fridge section in the grocery store. (My personal favorite is Jack Daniel's Pulled Pork with BBQ Sauce.) Cook according to package directions. If you'd like the salad to have more meat in it, add the entire container.
Note 2: If you'd like to grill the corn, preheat the grill to 400 degrees F. Shuck and remove silk from corn. Rub oil all over the sides (about 1/2 teaspoon) and lightly sprinkle with sea salt. Place corn on the grill and with the lid closed, turn every 3-5 minutes (check at 3 minutes, turning 4 times total) until the corn is nicely charred and crisp-tender. Remove corn from the grill, allow to cool slightly, and cut off the cob.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 616kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 810mg | Potassium: 402mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 1543IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 269mg | Iron: 2mg